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Mon05252015

Hong Kong’s policy on environment-friendly commercial vehicles to tighten

Hong Kong’s policy on environment-friendly commercial vehicles to tighten

Hong Kong’s Environmental Protection Department will be tightening its qualifyin...

Philippines’ new wind farms add 303 MW to country’s power supply

Philippines’ new wind farms add 303 MW to country’s power supply

Two new wind farms in the Philippines have added 303 megawatts of clean energy t...

Geneva talks require “business unusual” approach – W.W.F.

Geneva talks require “business unusual” approach – W.W.F.

A “business unusual” approach is needed in the Geneva Talks to successfully deli...

New battery uses old batteries for greener energy storage

New battery uses old batteries for greener energy storage

Energizer has developed the world’s first high-performance battery made with rec...

Global warming to bring more devastating weather patterns

Global warming to bring more devastating weather patterns

The United Nations World Meteorological Organization confirmed that global warmi...

Jamaica to get 36.3 MW wind farm by 2016

Jamaica to get 36.3 MW wind farm by 2016

A 36.3 megawatt wind farm in Jamaica has received $62.7 million in funding from ...

A.D.B. provides Thailand with $85 million to develop wind power plant

A.D.B. provides Thailand with $85 million to develop wind power plant

The Asian Development Bank will be providing a company in Thailand loans to deve...

Business

Georgia taking leadership role in developing solar power

Georgia taking leadership role in developing solar power

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

The state of Georgia is emerging as a leader among the 50 states in promoting and implementing the use of solar energy, in part because of both busine...

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Technology

Penn State develops CPV system for rooftops

Penn State develops CPV system for rooftops

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Researchers at Penn State have developed a concentrating photovoltaic system that is small enough and light enough to be mounted on a building’s roof....

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Politics

New draft text for climate agreement in Geneva reached

New draft text for climate agreement in Geneva reached

Monday, 16 February 2015

A new climate change draft text has been reached during the one-week United Nations-facilitated Geneva talks, leading to a binding treaty that is expe...

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Living Green

Wall-to-floor eco-friendly interior design

Wall-to-floor eco-friendly interior design

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

The materials you surround yourself with—from flooring and window coverings to furniture and accessories—have a great impact on the health of your hom...

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Renewables

Vestas supplies Poland, U.K. with turbines

Vestas supplies Poland, U.K. with turbines

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Wind turbine manufacturer Vestas has announced that they have secured orders this week for two projects in Poland and the United Kingdom. The orders c...

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Low-Carbon

PG&E plans ambitious E.V. charger roll-out in California

PG&E plans ambitious E.V. charger roll-out in California

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

An estimated 25,000 electric vehicle chargers could be deployed in California by Pacific Gas and Electric Company. PG&E is seeking permission from Cal...

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Opinion

Unsustainable urban life: What's next?

Unsustainable urban life: What's next?

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Nutrition plays a critical role in everyone’s chance at a better future. Hunger, said Benjamin Franklin once, is the best pickle. Some say “pickle”...

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Researchers look into bacteria-powered water desalination process


Bruce Logan, Kappe professor of environmental engineering (right) and Maha Mehanna, postdoctoral fellow (left) are already at work on the next generation of microbial
desalination cells based on using air cathodes.
Image Courtesy of Penn State Live

A team of researchers from China and the US say bacteria that occur in wastewater can actually be used to produce energy needed in water desalination.

Researchers from the Penn State University and Tsinghua University in Beijing are working on “microbial fuel cells.” In this device, naturally occurring bacteria in the wastewater consume organic material, producing electricity.

The microbial desalination cell first cleans water by removing organic material from it. This process produces electricity which can then be used to desalinate water so that it can be safe for drinking.

Currently, it takes a lot of electricity to desalinate water, which is accomplished in many locations using a process called reverse osmosis, one that pushes water under high pressure through membranes that allow water to pass but not salt.

The researchers, however, admit that the system still has to be improved. In their tests, it took 200 milliliters of artificial wastewater containing acetic acid to desalinate just 3 milliliters of salty water. Another concern is that bacteria that run the cell might have a problem living in highly acidic environments, which happens in the cell as protons work their way from one electrode to another.

“This is not a practical system yet as it is not optimized, but it is proof of concept," Bruce Logan, Kappe professor of environmental engineering at Penn State, said.

The study was reported in a recent online issue of Environmental Science and Technology. It was supported by Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah University of Science and Technology and the Ministry of Science and Technology of China.


- Katrice R. Jalbuena



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Reference:

1 http://live.psu.edu/story/40817

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